Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Goodbye 2015

What a year. I have never been on such an emotional rollercoaster as 2015 and hope never to be on another like it.

Throughout the stress of Mum's cancer diagnosis, chemo, surgery, apparent cure, terminal diagnosis, more chemo (that almost killed her) and then her death at the end of November there have been some good bits and some sewing.

In January I discovered Yoga with Adriene, amazing is the only word necessary. Have a look at her on you tube, loads of free yoga videos. 

In March my sister announced she was expecting Baby number 2!

In June I started advertising my business doing alterations,  mending, custom clothing and sewing lessons. It has gone really well and I have matched my part time salary from my other job with income from this one which is amazing considering the circumstances. Hopefully this will continue although I do hope folk will start remembering when I am coming round to measure/pin/collect things, I have now been greeted twice by folk in just their dressing gowns :)

In July we went on an amazing holiday to Prague. We will be going back.

In August I met up with some other lovely sewing bloggers in Glasgow which was a nice escape from reality for a day.

My sisters baby was born the day before Mum's birthday in October and is an absolutely gorgeous little boy! Mum got some quality cuddles with him before she died which was lovely.

During the year I also squeezed in some sewing, lots of repeated use of patterns and all essential items that have been well worn. All except the parrot dress that I forgot to take on holiday with me. It was then going to be my Mum's funeral dress but she asked if we would all wear Christmas jumpers as well as bright colours to the funeral so it never got worn then either. Next summer!

Onwards and upwards now. 2016 is going to be my year of more complicated sewing. I have a jacket pattern to make a blazer for my husband, a jeans pattern for me and want to finish my winter coat that I started in early 2014 so that should keep me busy, along with the hundreds of meters of curtains and trousers I will hopefully be hemming :)

Monday, 21 December 2015

Catching up

I have had a few posts sitting in draft form for ages so though I would just do a wee catch up post instead of attempting to do a proper post on each thing.

Exhibit 1:

A blue silk circle skirt made for going to Prague in the summer. I made this some gorgeous buttery silk that is lovely to wear, perfect for warm weather.

Exhibit 2:

A raglan sleeved to that I made using the pattern from Sew U Stretch book and swapping the jersey front with a woven cotton front. It is a wee bit short so I may add a jersey band to the bottom eventually.

Exhibit 3:

I was a pattern tester for the Megan Nielsen Mini Tania Culottes. These were a fab make, I can highly recommend the pattern. I made these slightly big in the vain hope that little E might wear them in the summer.

I also have a couple of WIP's. One is a dress I have almost finished but can't get the zip in without it going all wrong, I think it may have a more fundamental fitting issue. Maybe something to tackle int he Christmas holidays.... or maybe not.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Sad times

I couldn't think of an appropriate title for this post, sad times doesn't even come close.

As I have said before, my Mum was diagnosed with Oesophageal cancer on the 23rd December last year, she fought bravely for 11 months, went though huge surgery in March, was given the all clear in May then on the 1st August found out the cancer was back and now terminal. Sadly she died on the 28th November. We had her funeral yesterday.

She spent her final 17 days in the Marie Curie Hospice where we celebrated my new nephew's baptism then Christmas on the 21st November. After seeing this photo Mum decided that Christmas jumpers should be worn for her funeral. She got her wish , I doubt there has ever been as jolly a looking funeral party! 200+ people came to the church for the celebration of her life which is a testament to how involved she was in so many different aspects of life.

My life now has to get back to some kind of normal. I have been caring for Mum during the week since August so have not had much time for anything sewing or crafty. That will now change as I actively look for distractions...

Friday, 16 October 2015

When life gets in the way

It's been more than a month since I last posted here and I have been getting complaints... from my Mum! I would love to say that there were exciting reasons for not being here but life is just going about twice as fast as I can keep up with.
Mum's cancer roller coaster reached a new low 2 weeks ago, we got 'the call' from the hospital to say come now, but thankfully, with elephant strength antibiotics, she pulled through. She is now home and hopefully on an up with the peak coming in a few weeks when Grandchild number 4 is due (my sister's second baby).

While all this has been happening so has everyday life and a house in chaos. Also, my small business, that I set up a year ago, has just started to get quite busy. Typically at the worst possible time in my life.

I have done a fair bit of sewing though, in the moments I should be hemming folks curtains or fixing zips! Why is it as soon as you turn something into a business it automatically turns into a chore...

When I dragged my winter clothes from the loft, along with the giant spider living in the box (ugh), I realised that my autumn uniform consists of tops with skirts and leggings. The only problem is that all my skirts are smart and I don't have all that much need for smart at the moment.

That was easily rectified. I used my usual, super simple, skirt pattern but folded the sides of the pattern so it wasn't as wide an A-line shape.

These two fabrics are upholstery weight from Dunelm. I went in for thread and came out with thread and fabric for two skirts, oops... They are a bit stiff but I like them.

While I was on a skirt making roll I raked out my stashed liberty fabric. I bought it on ebay from someone selling their stash (for £8 inc postage!) so there was only 1m but I managed to squeeze the skirt out of it.

I think this one may be my new favourite, I wore it today for the first time and it is so comfy, the stretch in the cotton makes all the difference.

I have also been frantically sewing tops and leggings but will save them for another post, hopefully it won't be another month.

p.s. sorry if this reads really badly, I am totally out of the habit of writing anything, never mind anything to actually be read by others :)

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Sewing for Sanity

This image was in my facebook timeline a few days ago and it sums things up well at the moment.

I have been squeezing in some stress busting sewing time, I even emptied my to mend pile which has now reformed with the bits and pieces that didn't fit in the pile before. Some of that is paid work though so I can't complain.

Cabin Dress Fail!
The only problem with sewing like I have been is that it seems to include quite a few fails. I made a top for my Mum and the neck was far too wide, I made a dress/tunic for me and it looks like ill fitting hospital scrubs and I made another top for me from woven fabric which is far too small across the bust so that will hopefully fit Mum!

hopefully it doesn't look squint on...!

I have had a few successes though. I made a bridesmaids dress for a friend by cutting up and making a pattern from a RTW dress. This was the first time I had exactly copied another dress and I had great fun doing it, it pleased the inner physicist/mathematician that has been in hiding for 10 years :)

One of the things in my to mend/ WIP pile was this little owl. I cut him out about 2 years ago from various scraps. It has now been adopted by little e and is living on her bed.

The next few things on my to make list are leggings and A-line skirts so hopefully no more sewing fails!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Minion Bob Birthday Cake

Little e was 7 a couple of weeks ago and, after falling in love with Minion Bob after seeing the Minion film, asked for a cake like him.

I made Husband a Minion cake a couple of years ago so used the same method, cook the top in a pyrex bowl to get the curved head and layer it on normal round cakes.

This time I propped the whole thing on a cake pan because there is only so much cake I can eat (no one else in the house is a big cake eater, wierdos!) and decorated over the pan so you can't tell.

The cake was half chocolate sponge and half normal Victoria sponge. Both sponge had raspberry jam in the middle and the whole cake was crumb coated in vanilla buttercream before the decoration. To decorate it I covered the whole cake in marzipan then used coloured fondant for the rest.

It turned out surprisingly well and she loved it. I don't want to eat any more cake for a while though...:)

Linking to some of these places.

Sunday, 16 August 2015


The kids took themselves off outside and made a table today.

I did get them smaller nails after taking this photo, the 6 inch ones were a little large :)

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Why I don't have a Bucket List

The House of Pinheiro Sew Photo Hop theme today is Bucket List.

I don't have one and here is why:

We had some bad news 10 days ago, the cancer that Mum had surgery to cure is back. Unfortunately this means that there is little that can be done, oesophageal cancer is notoriously hard to treat, so tomorrow we see the oncologist to see if there are palliative chemo options available.

Life has changed so hugely in the last ten days yet not changed much at all. The flowers still bloom, the weeds still grow, the children still bicker but my outlook on life has changed. I am a planner and a worrier, always have been, but I am going to change that. I have seen how life can be turned upside down in an instant so I refuse to waste any more precious moments from all my todays worrying and making big plans for tomorrows that may never come.

Obviously a totally unplanned life would be chaos, normal planning will all still happen, but as for big plans, whether they are big sewing projects or places I want to visit, I will see where life takes me. I want to enjoy every day of the journey as much as possible. My Mum was thinking about what she would really really like to do in the time remaining and all that is on her list is to spend as much time as possible with her friends and family. It is not places or things or projects that it boils down to, it is the love of and from others.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

30/52, 31/52 & 32/52

I am so far behind with these post so here goes:

Two weekends ago we went to Dryburgh Abbey for the day. It was not dry, in fact little e has renamed it wetburgh!

We had a picnic in torrential rain then the sun came out for about half an hour and then it started to rain again, the joys of summer in Scotland.

Last weekend was husbands birthday, we were waiting for news on a scan my Mum had on Saturday so the day was a bit subdued and lots of brio was played with.

 Today was little e's birthday, she had a great day!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Prague - possibly the best city ever.

What can I say, Prague is an amazing city! We booked to go for 5 nights and had an amazing time. We opted for 5 days rather than more as I just wasn't sure how the kids would get on on a city break. I shouldn't have worried as they loved it!

It is a beautiful city, the architecture is amazing.

There is a lot of art all over the city, some of it very odd ....

There is a fantastic metro and tram network that was so cheap and easy to use.

 The technical museum was amazing!

There were lots and lots of sewing machines on display, this fantastic one was made in Glasgow.

There were classical concerts galore, we went to one in the Municipal Hall which was amazing,

and the zoo, what can I say, best zoo I have ever been to!

I promise it really is a real crocodile!

 Any zoo with a splash pool gets bonus points, perfect for tired feet!

After 4 and a quarter days we had walked 36 miles and eaten about my weight in cake so hopefully they balanced each other out!